Q. Is there a particular season or period when you can get hairy crabs?
A. Hairy crabs are caught in some place or the other all year round. In spring, it’s the Okhotsk Sea, in summer, it’s the Uchiura Bay, in Autumn, it’s Kushiro. Fishermen are only allowed to catch male hairy crabs. Females are off limits. It’s an ingredient that I can offer all throughout the year, making it one of the restaurant’s signature dishes.
Q. Is there anything you are careful about when you are doing this?
A. A number of crabs are shelled in a day, so being speedy is important. However, I try to ensure that bones and cartilage are not left, as much as possible.
The crab is first stuffed into the shell and shaped. Shirodashi, vinegar and mirin are added to it. It is then combined with a jelly made from gelatin. The flavor of the crab and the refreshing taste of the tosazu jelly makes this a dish that complements sake.